Franceschi, Gustavo Juan

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Philosopher and sociologist; b. Corsica, 1871; d. Montevideo, June 11, 1957. He was an outstanding figure in the Argentine clergy during the first half of the 20th century because of his abilities and the excellent use he made of them. Before becoming a priest he had a reputation as an oceanographer and an author with a beautiful style. After his ordination in 1902, he became an outstanding preacher, stressing particularly the social doctrines of the Church and frequently speaking in the public squares and streets of Buenos Aires. He was chaplain of the chapel of El Carmen for 30 years, and during that time he served as secretary for the Argentine Social League and promoted social study clubs. He frequently served as chaplain for the national prison, and he was clerical adviser for the Catholic Students' Center and the Catholic Teachers' Union. He directed the review Justicia Social and contributed frequently to El Trabajo, the organ of the Catholic Workers' Groups. In 1916 he began teaching philosophy at the Catholic University of Buenos Aires, and from 1917 to 1941 he was professor of sociology and Catholic social thought in the major seminary of Buenos Aires. From 1933 until his death he directed the review Criterio (founded March 1928 by Atilio Del'Oro Maini) and wrote a weekly article for it. These articles, written in a clear logical style on a variety of important topics, were read by both intellectuals and nonintellectuals. Some of them, as well as articles published in other periodicals, were collected and published in book form: La democracia y la iglesia (1918); Los cículos de estudios sociales (1822); Tres estudios sobre la familia (1823); La angustia contemporánea (1929); Keyserling (1929); Fundación social de la propiedad privada en la República Argentina; Las circunstancias sociales de Pío XI (1933); La Iglesia (1935); En el humo del incendio (1938); Visión espiritual de la guerra (1940); El deber actual de los Católicos (1940); Manantiales de nuestra fe (1941); and El pontificiado romano (2 v. 1945). In this last work, as in all his writings, Franceschi showed himself to be a theologian, a moralist, a philosopher, and a well-balanced historian, always well informed on his subjects. He was much influenced by French thought and was very skillful in adapting it to Argentine circumstances. He was a canon of the cathedral and in 1933 was named a domestic prelate. He did outstanding work through his writings in spreading Catholic doctrine and defending the interests of the Church.

Bibliography: o. n. derisi, "Monseñor Franceschi apóstol providencial de la verdad," Revista Eclesiástica Argentina 1.4 (1958) 3841.

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Franceschi, Gustavo Juan

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